I love traps.
Raiders of the Lost Ark-style boulders. Ceilings lowering to crush you to death. Stuff that blows up when you get too close. I dig that sort of stuff. One of my all-time favorite video game series is the Deception series. Most of the entries were on the PS1. The games revolved around a scantily clad chick (A different one in each game.) who, for some reason, had the magical power to set traps inside a castle/mansion/whatever. She could customize these traps, make them more powerful or electrify them or whatever, and then place them in strategic positions in order to lure people into them. Then, you’d trigger said traps, hoping to pull off a trap combo, where you’d knock them into a series of traps all in one go. They’re pretty awesome games, and worth checking out if you have the means to do so.
The latest episode of Angel Beats played right into my fetish for seeing people killed by awesome traps. I especially loved what I’ve dubbed the “Sakaki Killer Cute Box Special,” which consists of a wind-up dog in a box floating towards a waterfall. Anyone who has a cute fetish will jump in to save said fake dog, only to fall to their death over the waterfall. That’s the most insidious trap ever.
The whole trap set-up also supports two theories.
First, the fact that they were laid out in a level style furthers the idea that this is a video game. Video game. Levels. “Bam!,” said Emeril. Second, the fact that said traps were laid out to try to stop Angel from reaching the final level of the “dungeon” also supports Updatedude’s idea that Angel is the PC. Or at least that Angel is a higher-level PC than the main characters in the series. I’m leaning towards a MMO-like idea where Yuri’s group is, like, a low-level guild trying to make their mark in the game world, while Angel is a high-level PC that gets off on ganking members of this guild. Maybe Yuri pissed Angel off back in the day by ninjaing some loot or something and she’s taking it out on all of Yuri’s friends while raking up the Honor points to buy some more kickass PVP gear. Something like that. But I can totally see Update’s “Yuri and gang are mini-bosses/grunts struggling against the PC” angle as well. I’m not buying the idea that this is actually the afterlife/purgatory. The logic is far too video game-like and doesn’t even remotely resemble an afterlife-logic.
I’m also not buying Yuri’s backstory. Or, at least, it’s a fabrication created for the game rather than a genuine backstory that really happened to the “real” Yuri. Call my cynical, but it all comes off as conveniently tragic and tearjerking, like it was tailor-made to build empathy for Yuri’s character. In other series I’d buy it, but everything I’ve seen so far in Angel Beats reeks of deceptive techniques that I can’t trust anything that any of the characters tell us. Not about the nature of the world. Not about Angel. Not even about themselves. It all comes off as artificial. Trust No One.
I also dig how the “Guild” guys create things out of dirt. Way to get religious there, what with so many Godhead figures making mankind out of the soil of the earth and shit like that. And it works as a great juxtaposition to their fight against the god-like force in control of this universe. Way to use God’s tech against him, guys!
Also, I’d like to echo everyone’s love for TK. Go trailer trash gangsta couture! Your sacrifice will be remembered!
Also Also, the opening song is pretty snazzy. Would have been better as a straight-up instrumental, but it’s cool regardless.